European road safety initiative launched in Ireland
Project Edward geared to achieve zero road fatalities across continent on September 21st
Ireland had one of its safest years on record for road traffic incidents in 2015 with 166 fatalities following a spike in road deaths over 2013 and 2014. Photograph: Getty Images
Ireland is one of 30 European countries hoping to achieve zero road deaths on September 21st as part of a new pan-continental initiative.
The idea for a European Day Without a Road Death, or Edward, came about as a result of frustration from road safety authorities and police forces over a levelling-off of road death figures in recent years.
A defined reduction in the number of road fatalities in the mid-2000s has stagnated across Europe in recent years. And countries involved in the European Traffic Police Network (Tispol) are hoping that the new initiative can encourage motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to adopt a more safety-conscious approach.
“Police officers and road safety professionals have gathered in Dublin this week to consider a disappointing European road safety scene,” said Garda chief Supt Aidan Reid, who is president of Tispol.
“We reflect on recent results which paint a very mixed picture of progress in reducing deaths and serious injuries on Europe’s roads,” he added.
Ireland had one of its safest years on record for road traffic incidents in 2015 with 166 fatalities following a spike in road deaths over 2013 and 2014.
In the EU 28 countries are in the middle of a decade-long road safety plan which aims to half the number of road deaths by 2020.
Tispol has set up a pledge pagewhich people can sign at www.tispol.org/edward to indicate their support for Edward.
Chief supt Reid continued: “Tispol’s target is that no one should die on the roads of Europe on Wednesday 21 September.
“And as we pause to reflect on how we use the roads, it is my belief that Project Edward can make a significant contribution towards further sizeable and sustained reductions in road death and serious injury.”